Fabric fun on a wet weekend: Bunting!

cuttingupOh, the disappointment of rain all day Saturday, gloomy cloud on Sunday…

Oh, the JOY of spending said Saturday rummaging through my entire stash, cutting up triangles from remnants of the brightest, most colourful fabrics from just about every sewing project of the last four years, and stitching them together… Fabrics from clothes I love but no longer fit into, gorgeous things I’ve made for other people, and of course favourites that are still around me every day.  It’s a lovely way, as well, to remind yourself of just how much sewing you’ve achieved and all the creativity that’s happened over time.laying outThen, EVEN MORE happiness getting up this morning (despite it being grey and gloomy outside when the forecast had been for SUN all day) to arrange it all into a rainbow of funky patterns and pin everything to the bunting tape…pinning… and then stitch it all up on Auntie Janis, who for once did not complain or throw a tantrum over all the different weights and weaves going under the needle together (a sharps 80, set to a medium zigzag stitch, seemed to be able to cope with everything from lawn to jersey)…readytosewBut most joyful of all, was hanging the finished bunting up on the balcony this afternoon, just as the sun finally decided to put in an appearance!balcony3There is something just so, I don’t know, FUN about bunting, isn’t there?!  balcony2 All those bright colours and patterns together make me SO happy!balcony1Yep, I’m LOVING the bunting!  My only concern was that my regular bird-feeder visitors might be scared off by all that colour flapping around, however I needn’t have worried, as you can see:bovvered“Bunting?  Am I bovvered though??” Have a wonderful, colourful week! 😉

WhooHoo! Wiggle cushion

At last, here it is: my alpaca version of the ‘Wiggle’ cushion!finishedwiggle1 I LOVE the feel and texture of this, combined with the fab-tastic chevron pattern and crazy colour combo it’s all come together in a very happy-me-making way!  Not that using a different yarn from the one recommended was without its snags, I must confess.

As mentioned in my previous progress report, the fabric worked up into a very long scrunchy ‘concertina’, and  I was right to worry about whether this would block out easily.  The answer? – no, No, NO!  I tried steam blocking it, spraying it, even pinning it to the ironing board and pressing it with a cloth.  As I unpinned each cooled, supposedly pressed section and moved it along, it just scrunched itself back up again.  ARGH!!wigglepressing In the end I resorted to pressing it directly with the iron, which still didn’t result in an entirely flat piece of work, and also filled my sewing room with the delightful aroma of burnt wool….

So, wiggle by name, wiggly by nature!  I found crocheting the foundation row and final rows together a bit of a fiddle, too, but perhaps this was down to my gorgeous hairy alpaca yarn not giving quite the same stitch definition as the cotton 4-ply recommended in the pattern.  But happily, once the cushion pad was in, this stretched everything taut enough to make sewing the side seams relatively easy.  The book says to use a mattress stitch, not something I’ve used before and I wouldn’t say mine’s particularly tidy – my hand sewing isn’t up to much at the best of times!wiggleseams Nevertheless, compared to the this image that I fell in love with in the Kaleidoscope book,wiggleprojectplanning I must say I’m CHUFFED to bits with my version of this lovely design!finishedwiggle2 I’d love to know if anyone else has had a go at this, or had similar blocking issues when working with alpaca?

For the rest of this week I’m planning on finishing up a bag project which I’ll share with you soon, and also have an exciting new crochet pattern I’m working on – look out for a full tutorial coming next month!

Til then, happy hooking, stitching, and general crafty goodness!

WhooHoo! Yarnbomb lampshade!

yarnbomblampshade1Oh, TWO ‘whoohoo’s in a month, can you believe it?!!  As mentioned last time, now that I have my gorgeous Mexican Sunset cushion, what better way to co-ordinate one’s crazy interior décor scheme than to make a matching lampshade?

This little project was entirely inspired by Lucy at Attic 24’s funky lampshade yarnbomb post.  I just loved this so much and knew I wanted to make one of my own!  I followed her pattern fairly closely, except for starting and finishing with sc/dc/sc border (that’s dc/tr/dc in UK).  I thought I could resist adding bobbles, but once I’d finished the scallop edge the whole thing had a kind of circusy feel about it that demanded bobbles to complete the look!yarnbomblamplitupOh, this is SO much better than my boring, old, slightly cracked and discoloured white lampshade that I’ve had for a million years!  Go on, get your hook out, you know you want one…


Colourful crochet hooks

A quick update on my latest crochet extravagance: colourful custom-made crochet hooks!  These are made to order by the lovely Angela Hickey, who made Lucy from Attic 24’s famous red & white polka-dot hook.  One look at Angela’s Etsy shop and Flickr gallery and I came down with a bad case of ‘The Wanties’! three crochet hooks with colourful handles, purple with green dots, rainbow stripes, red with white dotsI am SO chuffed with these, they are lovely to use and make me smile every time I look at them.  I’m using my fabulous purple and green spotted hook to make some Christmas pressies at the moment and it just adds that extra element of fun to everything, as well as being much more comfortable to use than plain metal hooks: the handles are made of polymer clay and sit nicely in your hand while you’re working.

And speaking of Christmas presents, the Attic24 hook is a surprise pressie for a lovely crocheting friend, so shhhh….